Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Current Review Shows Nothing Has Changed At Small Smiles

Recent Review of Dr. Erin Haggard at Small Smiles in Oklahoma City:

This was posted 8-20-08, just a few days ago. After reading it you can see NOTHING is changing at Small Smiles.

My friend just took her 3 year old son to this place and had a nightmare experience. They tied him up and didn't notify her, she only found out because he wet his pants and when she asked him what happened he said they didn't let him go because he was tied up. When she went back in to ask them about it they said that it was something common for them. The treatment they gave him was silver caps, which she found out later were absolutely not necessary. The reason she found this out was because he had a big cut on his lip (which they claimed was from him bitting himself) and the cut got a really bad infection, which SS wouldn't treat so she had to go to another dentist and that's when she was told the caps were not even needed.
Needless to say, this place is HORRIBLE!
Just ask yourself: why won't they let you go to the back with your child?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Drilling For Dollars" Wins Emmy

image On Monday evening, September 22, 2008, Roberta Baskin, was awarded a national Emmy for her multi-part exposé on Small Smiles, a chain of pediatric dentist centers that preyed and profitted on children and the Medicaid system. Roberta previously won the Scripps-Howard Award for National Journalism for her series.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Comment From Nancy Mastreno

Below is a comment I received the other day. I will say these kind are few and far between but they show the ignorance of some people. I wonder if Nancy ever stopped to wonder just where a dentist got the kind of money the DeRose's portray they have. Giving millions here, hundreds of thousands there, establishing million dollar endowments at Universities etc. For heavens sake Michael and Eddie were just dentists! Nancy needs to get a clue. I bet there are a few of my readers who would love to enlighten Ms. Mastreno.

Who are you and what kind of a grudge do you have. You really need to get a life. I have known the DeRose family almost my entire life and have witnessed their generosity. Yes, they and many others contributed to building this stadium and bringing football back to CSU Pueblo. It is great for the community and the school. My first dental assisting job was with Dr. Eddie when I was still in high school many many years ago. I am still in dentistry, but in another dental office with no connection to the DeRoses, and I have nothing but respect for this family. They have given back to this community many times over and most people don't even know how generous they are because they don't give with the condition of posting what they do. You must need to get a life and stop being so obsessed with this family. Nancy Mastreno

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Albany Access Dentistry - Former Small Smiles Still Getting Medicaid Dollars

Dentists Getting State Money, Despite State Investigations

August 14, 2008 - 7:43PM
They're under state investigation, but they're still collecting state money.
Small Smiles Dentistry, which removed all traces of its name in late May, is now known simply as a "dentist's office." New York terminated the Colonie children's dental clinic from its Medicaid program on May 24, but the two remaining dentists subsequently applied for and received their own Medicaid provider numbers, a source in state government said.

That means they are legally working on children and collecting state reimbursements, even as three state agencies investigate their alleged misconduct.

Those allegations, made by three ex-employees and 107 parents, mirror claims made against Small Smiles locations in several other cities nationwide: that dentists performed rushed and unnecessary procedures in pursuit of lucrative bonuses and Medicaid money. Your taxpayer money.

In a recent survey of 29 Small Smiles parents:

  • 17 / 29 said they requested -- but were denied -- the ability to sit with their child(ren) during treatment
  • 12 / 29 said their child(ren) was/were placed under a papoose board, unable to move his/their arms and legs

  • 3 / 29 said they did not consent to the use of that papoose board in advance
  • 18 / 29 said the dentist placed crowns on their child(ren)'s baby teeth (as many as eight crowns in one sitting)
  • 12 / 29 said their child(ren) developed complications, including bleeding, infection, and severe pain
  • 6 / 29 said another dentist later told them the work done at Small Smiles was not necessary
In sometimes scathing statements, a few parents said their children were screaming in pain because the dentist did not wait for the Novocain to take effect, or skipped it altogether. Other parents described staff members placing dirty instruments back in the drawer, or in their child's mouth.

With the parents' written permission, CBS 6 mailed copies all of the questionnaires and statements to state investigators from three departments. One agency -- the State Education Department's Office of Professional Discipline -- had filed a subpoena, requesting related documents. That agency licenses the dentists.

Small Smiles corporate spokesman Don Meyer, who has called CBS 6's reporting of the allegations "a striking case of substandard journalism" full of "baseless claims," offered a generic response to the parents:

"We handle parent concerns on a case-by-case basis. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's dental center directly (464-0402) or call our 800 number. As previously stated, we take any concern seriously, and take immediate action to remedy problems if and when they occur."

Meyer promised an explanation for the name change at the Colonie clinic, but he had not offered one by Thursday night.

Stay with CBS 6 News for the latest on the state investigations.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Dr. Maziar Izadi, who retreated from a CBS 6 camera crew when approached for comment in March, is still practicing at the former Small Smiles clinic. CBS 6 is withholding the name of the other dentist because he, unlike Izadi, was not named by any parents.

Most parents said they didn't know who worked on their child(ren), because they never met the dentist. Only a dental assistant came to the waiting room to speak to them.

Wild Smiles Comment

Here is a comment posted about the new Wild Smiles and I just didn't want anyone to miss it so I'm posting it here on the main page.
Wild Smiles? That is a good one! What makes these people think that the word 'smiles' is appropriate in any of their names?
How about DF&B? Drill Fill and Bill instead?
Maybe 'Screams are Us'?
How about 'Dental Mills of America'?
What a racket these places have- they have twenty one years to drill teeth on one child. About ten or twelve of those years they can drill, fill, drill again. Then remove the nerve in tetth and put metal caps on them. Not only that they have a bunch of 'permanent' teeth that come in and they can drill on them from about age five or six to age twenty one! That is about fifty something teeth per person that they can have their way with over a period of twenty one years. Forget about preventative measures to prevent decay! They would lose out on something way too good and profitable for them!
Too many teeth are drilled unnecessarily. Too many teeth are root canal treated and capped and then many times extracted a short while later. Too many times small cavities are missed and they end up being so the tooth needs to be cut away more than it should have been, or something worse, like extraction.. Too many teeth are being cut that do not even have decay. They regularly take x-rays on every patient every six months regardless of if there is a reason or not. They squeeze out every dollar from every patient in every way they can, If they miss out on a billable procedure- they get upset!
The list of shameful practices goes on daily at these places.
The poor and unsuspecting parents and children that go to Small Smiles and others like them are being taken advantage of. They lose teeth at an early age when they do not need to. They receive treatments that are often excessive or not even needed.
Small Smiles is a shameful profiteering scheme under the guise of "health care' and providing "care" for those so-called under served. Those who do not even have a clue of what is occurring.
And Medicaid payers in every state nationwide should be reeled in and held responsible for the shameful waste of taxpayers' money by allowing these places to operate completely unchecked.
There needs to be something done to reverse this trend of profiting excessively through Medicaid fraud and other abuses.
Smiles? There is nothing to smile about. These places do not really care for the people that come there. They truly are interested in making as much money as they can, as fast as they can, and as easily as they can.

Mark DeRose's Great American Tire and Auto Service

Everyday someone sends me or I find something more about the Great American Family of Eddie DeRose. This one was sent to me and is about his son Mark.
I don't know if these guys are still in business or not, nor do I care. But if there is a Great American Tire and Auto Service Center in your area, do the world a favor and boycott the place. This family preys on children for profit!
September 2002
Modern Tire Dealer Article
The idea for Great American Tire and Auto Service Centers started simply enough, with a combination service station/convenience store in Colorado in 1986. But owners Mark DeRose and Chuck Pecoraro were not satisfied.
So in 1998, their "multi-facility concept" was born. Great American Tire partnered with Shell Oil Co. to create a one-stop shop with a tire and automotive service center, a Shell Rapid Lube, a convenience store and gas station.
Four years later, there are 12 Great American Tire complexes in the United States, with another scheduled to open Nov. 13th in McKinney, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
According to Janet Beaudry, vice president of marketing and sales, the company's goal is to make the experience of buying tires and automotive service an enjoyable one for the customer. To that end, Great American Tire posts its prices, displays its tires in cabinets and makes use of interactive tire and wheel kiosks to better inform car owners. Customers can watch their vehicles being serviced as part of the store design. [This is where I about crapped my pants! They will let you watch your car being worked on but not your child!]
Each outlet also furnishes its showroom with leather sofas, ample table space, copies of O and Food and Wine magazines, a refrigerator with bottled water and Game Boy players for the kids.
Great American Tire, based in Greenwood Village, Colo., plans to add another 38 stores in high-growth neighborhoods by 2005, according to Beaudry. Modern Tire Dealer recently caught up with her, and asked her about the company's expansion plans.
MTD: What are your expansion plans for the near-term?
Beaudry: Within the next three years, we'll have 50 total stores. Right now, we have our real estate team in each of the markets we’re interested in looking for the perfect corner, a high traffic, high commuter area.
MTD: Presently, you have 12 stores, or "multi-facilities" as you like to call them, located in suburbs rather than inner-city areas. Is that always your goal?
Beaudry: You have high growth in suburbs. Also, suburbs are critical because we need a big lot size, and you don't have two-acre lots in mature market areas. With our multi-facility concept, we need room for a Great American Tire and Auto Service Center, a quick lube, gasoline pumps and a convenience store.
MTD: I know Shell runs the quick lube, gas pumps and convenience store. Are they co-owners of each complex?
Beaudry: We own the complex, and we lease out part of the lot back to Shell. We choose each lot, obviously, with support from Shell, so each one has the demographics both Shell and Great American are looking for.
MTD: You sell tires manufactured by Michelin. Are they part-owners of Great American Tire?
Beaudry: We just sell Michelin brands exclusively. That's our relationship with Michelin. We sell Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal and Cavalier tires.
MTD: Will all your complexes be built from scratch?
Beaudry: As far as I know. Everything that has come across my desk has been (empty) lots.... We want the gas station and the convenience store next to the tire outlet because at that point we become a destination, a place where you can get everything for your car in one stop. We want to have that because that's what makes us more attractive to the consumer.
MTD: Fifty stores from scratch by 2005 seems very ambitious...
Beaudry: Every person in every department is focused on that goal, from the people in land development, purchasing, construction, marketing, sales, accounting, human resources -- everyone.
MTD: Is your business plan to eventually go public or set up a franchising program or both?
Beaudry: As of right now, there is nothing on the radar screen to go public or franchise. Saying that, we want all 50 stores to basically look and feel the exact same, to have the same level of customer service. That's why at this point we feel the need to keep them all in the company's portfolio.
MTD: Do you have any long-term goals in regard to number of stores?
Beaudry: Ultimately, if all goes well, there will be 300 stores. But that would be long-term. The immediate attention for all of us is the 50 stores.
MTD: Where will the stores be located?
Beaudry: The 50 stores will go into nine great markets. We're in Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, Atlanta and Sterling, Va., now. We will expand into the Dallas area Nov. 13. We want to expand into Chicago, northern Boston and southern Florida -- Dayton County in particular. There will be a minimum of five stores in each market (there are seven stores in the Denver area).
MTD: Are you targeting any particular type of customer?
Beaudry: The stores are designed to attract anyone who's in control of their car maintenance. In our stores, 60% of our customers, on average, are female. But our marketing efforts and expansion efforts target anyone who wants a clean, relaxing place to have their car serviced. In our industry, you don't hear people saying that buying tires or getting their vehicles serviced is relaxing. We kind of change the way people think about their service and what their experience should be.
MTD: What do you feel is unique about your complexes?
Beaudry: One of the unique things about Great American is its disclosure of all pricing, which also adds to the comfort level of our customers when they're in our store. Except for tax and environmental fees, it's all incorporated in the pricing, which I think reduces the stress. Everything's simplified. It's not pricing roulette. And our pricing is fair.
It's the same way we sell tires and service. (Our technicians) will pinpoint your needs and show you the needs of your car. We've taken all the complication out of servicing your car.
MTD: What do you mean by "fair" pricing?
Beaudry: We definitely are price-competitive in all markets in terms of the tires and services we sell. We're not the lowest price, or the highest price. We find the comfortable competitive price point within that market.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tish Ballance's Hands Back In The Till

Well in just a few weeks is the scheduled opening date of Dr. Tish Ballance's newest medicaid dental clinic, Carolina West Dental located in Waynesville, NC. Can you believe after settling a claim with Dr. Michael DeRose of Pueblo, CO in the amount of $10 million dollars the state of North Carolina is going to let her hands back into the Medicaid till?

Is it just me that finds this outrageous? Surely not.


Above is a picture of what your child may well look like if they go to Dr. Ballance's dental clinic.

This is the same woman who thought it was perfectly fine to put strap innocent children down in papoose boards and fill their mouths with 16-18 stainless steel crowns!

Small Smiles Says It's Family Owned


Small Smiles has their company info on (click here) Here they say they are family owned. I sure wish they would make up their minds on who owns them don't you guys? I guess it depends on who is asking, right?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wild Smiles Just Another Name For Small Smiles

Forba's newest name change Wild Smiles is now open in Houston. Don't be fooled by the name, it is still FORBA, it's still Texas Smiles USA, it is still Small Smiles! I expect all of the clinics may soon see a name change. Picking Wild Smiles is quite appropriate don't you think?
5720-D Bellaire Boulevard — between Hillcroft Avenue and Chimney Rock Road

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Colorado Has Enacted A New Dental Practice Ownership Law

It looks like Colorado has enacted some new laws and regulations regarding dental practice ownership. After reading the new law it appears to be geared toward Forba/Small Smiles. If so this would be the second time Colorado has had to enact laws especially geared toward these clinics. The first one was limiting the number of crowns done in one setting and limiting the amount of time they can keep a child tied up in a papoose board.

Here is the new law:

Colorado Enacts New Laws Regarding Dental Practice Ownership
On March 20, 2008, Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. signed House Bill 08-1134 into law effective August 5, 2008. A portion of this bill concerns the disclosure of the ownership of a practice that provides dental care to patients. This law will directly affect all dental or dental hygiene practices in Colorado. Specifically, this new law requires that certain information regarding the ownership of the dental or hygiene practice be available upon request at the reception desk of the practice during normal business hours. The law further provides that this information be made available on a form approved by the Board. This ownership form is available on the Board’s website here. The availability of this information is a mandatory requirement, effective August 5, 2008.

Another important provision in this legislation is that it allows an heir to the dentist or dental hygienist to serve as a proprietor of the deceased’s practice for up to one year after their death, regardless of whether the heir is licensed to practice. And that upon good cause shown, may petition the Board for an extension of the temporary ownership period by up to an additional twelve months, if necessary, to allow them sufficient time to sell or otherwise dispose of the practice.

I especially enjoyed the form they designed to be filled out and on hand at the front desk for anyone to be able to ask and see exactly who really owns a particular clinic. Of course Forba is notorious for using the licenses of dentist that are actually Forba employees and saying they are the owners. They do this in several states, Ken Knott and Robert Andrus are prime examples of this.

What blows my mind is what amount of money would a dentist have to receive in compensation to loan out their licenses like that. Of course when Forba fills out this little form it will be just more fraudulent evidence won't it.

Does you Colorado Dental Clinic have this form on hand at the front desk? It should, since this law took effect August 8, 2008.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Forba's Banking Habits

Ever wonder where Forba /Small Smiles does it's banking? Well so did I. I was able to obtain a copy of the back of a check Forba Holding, LLC deposited into their account. I removed the actual account number since I figured none of you actually wanted to make a deposit in their account.

They make their deposits to Associated Bank (Assocaited Banc-Corp) that has branches in Wisconsin and Illinois, which by the way are two states they don't have even one clinic in operation. Am I the only one that finds that a bit odd?

There is another thing I find odd that's I've been told by those who either work for or have worked for Forba. They pay out of various accounts. Some get paid from Children's Medicaid Clinic, and others paid from Forba Holding,LLC some paid from Forba NY, LLC and I believe some get their bonus checks coming from yet another company name.

If you get checks from Forba email me and tell me where your checks come from and what bank they are written on.

Clickable Email Me Link